By Max Harper
The Commanders corporate owner Pro-Football Inc. has settled a lawsuit with District of Columbia attorney general Brian Schwalb’s office and must pay $625,000 for failing to return ticket deposits to fans.
The lawsuit, which was filed in November, alleged the Commanders “improperly withheld hundreds of thousands of dollars in security deposits from hundreds of District consumers.”
Pro-Football Inc. will return over $200,000 to impacted residents and pay $425,000 to the District.
“The Commanders unlawfully took advantage of their fan base and violated District law,” Schwalb said in a tweet.
The attorney general’s office will “maintain strict oversight over the Commanders” to ensure all steps are taken to reimburse District fans.
The lawsuit was filed against Pro-Football Inc. by the office of then-attorney general Karl Racine. Racine closed his eight years as D.C.’s attorney general in December, with Schwalb taking over the position. The lawsuit alleged the team implemented “an illegal scheme to cheat District ticket holders out of their deposits for season tickets and use the money for its own purposes.”
Last April, Jason Friedman, a former vice president of sales and customer service who worked for the franchise for 24 years, provided the House Committee on Oversight and Reform with “information and documents indicating that the Commanders routinely withheld security deposits that should have been returned to customers who had purchased multiyear season tickets for specific seats, referred to as seat leases,” according to a letter the committee sent to the FTC.
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